“Lease,” said my parents, or my older siblings, “would you do me a favor?”
Mostly I did it, whatever “it” was. Or my brother, Fred, did it. We were the youngest, and were the runners, who went to get a Coke, or a pretzel, or a snack for our older family members. Even now, we’re still doing favors.
But there was one “favor” that none of my siblings did for Fred and me. But they should have.
You know if you’ve been reading my blogs, that my eldest brother Bob recently died. He didn’t do this favor for me. Neither did my sister Beth, who died in 2009. Nor did Judy, who kicked the bucket unexpectedly in 2000. Nobody knows when they’re going.
DO YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS A FAVOR.
MAKE A WILL. MAKE A LIVING WILL AND A MEDICAL DIRECTIVE.
TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT DONE WITH YOUR REMAINS. WITH YOUR STUFF.
My brother Bob died without a will. Actually, he DID have a will, and a Power of Attorney — we found that he’d bought forms to be filled out, but they were still in the shrink-wrap. I wanted to kill him. Without letting anybody know IN WRITING, what he wanted done with what, it was all guesswork.
Yes, when he was deathly ill, I had to trust my wonky memory of random conversations of what he would want. I hope I remembered correctly, given that he died and I can’t change any of those decisions. What did he want done regarding “heroic” measures by the doctors? What should we do with his remains — burial? cremating? And then what to do with those remains …
Did we do what he’d want? I hope so. We certainly tried.
Do yourself and your family members a favor. Or maybe a few favors:
- Make a will, even a simple one. Let someone know where you keep it!
- Do a living will, so that your wishes will be followed — and make sure family members know where it is.
- Talk about what you want to do with your remains. Burial? Where? Cremation? Where do you want those ashes to end up?
We took Bob to see one last sunset, before releasing him into the Gulf of Mexico. I hope he is happy and resting in peace.